Rochester Gay Couple Engaged After Senate Votes Yes

Posted at: 05/13/2013 10:39 PM
Updated at: 05/13/2013 10:43 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Those for the Senate vote were celebrating across the state. Many gathered at a bar in Rochester to celebrate, including several gay couples.

It was a historic day in the state. At a celebration in town, there was lots of hugging, and congratulating to couples like this one, "We had our first date on April 7th, 1993," said Bob Werner.

He and his partner Joe Nix said they knew they were meant to share their lives together, almost from day one. "As we dated that first year we really came to know that this was a relationship we both had been hoping, and praying, and dreaming of," said Werner.

They got a domestic partnership the moment Rochester allowed them and friends urged them just to run off and get married in a state where it was legal. "We are Minnesotan's and we want to be married in our state," said Werner. Most importantly, they said they wanted their marriage to be recognized in their home state.

They were fighting for this to become law, even inviting friend and neighbor Senator David Senjem over for dinner. Sen. Senjem even talked about the two while the issue was debated in the Senate. “I think he was genuinely torn about the vote. We are honored that he mentioned us, but we're disappointed that we didn't get his vote," said Nix.

Even so, the final vote is what they're thankful for. "We’ve been hoping, and wishing, and dreaming that we could get married for 20 years, and today the Senate’s vote just made it clear that Minnesotan’s believe that everyone should have the freedom to marry the person they love," said Werner.

Now sporting matching engagement rings, the two will soon finally be able to say, "I do." "absolutely, August 1st we're getting our marriage license," said Werner.

Governor Dayton says he'll be signing the legislation into law on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday, our team will be there to bring you the latest.